Lopez-Obrador Getting Started

Widely favored to win the presidential elections next year, Lopez-Obrador has stepped down as mayor of Mexico City in order to focus full time on the presidential campaign. A BBC article describes him: "A staunch leftist, he said he was most proud of having put the poor first." The possibility of this movement towards the left occurring throughout Latin America finally making its way to the doorstep of the U.S. must be troublesome to many in Washington. A move to the left by Mexico could serve to create a fairly powerful bloc of leftist countries finally strong enough to counter the years of exploitation by a rich elite.
I will continue to follow this story here at
recycled minds...

On a lighter note...

Humor is a necessary part of life, and I like to try to infuse a little of that here too. Here's a joke that I found on Tribe.net, which you should check out if you don't know about it.

President Bush meets with the Queen of England and asks her, "Your Majesty, how is it that you have such an efficient government? Do you have any tricks to share with me on this?"

"Why, of course", replies the Queen, "the most important thing is to surround yourself with intelligent people".

To which Bush replies, "How do you know if they are intelligent?".

The Queen takes a sip of her tea and says, "It's easy, ask them a riddle." She then hits the button on her intercom and says, "Send in Tony Blair".

Tony Blair enters the room, "Yes my Queen?".

The Queen smiles at him and says, "Answer the following, your mother and your father have a child, it's not your brother or your sister, who is it?".

Tony Blair hesitates for a moment and says, "It's me!".

"Very well" says the Queen.

Bush returns to Washington and asks the same question to Vice President Dick Cheney, "Dick, your mother and your father have a child, it's not your brother or your sister, who is it?".

To this Cheney says "Let me think about it".

Cheney then goes to his advisors and asks them all to answer the question. No one seems able to answer this. Frustrated he goes into one of the toilets in the bathroom and recognizes Colin Powell's shoes in the neighboring stalls.

"Colin, can you answer this question? You mother and your father have a child, it's not your brother or your sister, who is it?".

Colin Powell immediately responds, "that's easy, it's me". To this, Cheney smiles, thanks him, and returns to talk to Bush.

"I did some research and I have the answer to your question, it's Colin Powell".

Bush gets up angrily and says, "you imbecile, it's Tony Blair!".

Terror in Oaxaca

So, the beautiful city (and state) of Oaxaca in southern Mexico is facing the brutal tactics of a newly elected right wing governor. A visit there finds the old Spanish-Colonial city, perfect weather, ancient ruins (Monte Alban), and a rich and lively indigenous culture, second in numbers only to the adjoining state of Chiapas. Of course, the governor is taking issue with any kind of action by existing indigenous groups along with those that support them. Indymedia has some articles that detail the goings on from the point of view of the oppressed. It sounds scary, as the police supported paramilitaries are reportedly running free, and doing what they do best - perpetrating violence against the poor indigenous population of the region. Such a beautiful place must still suffer the violence of the conquest now over 500 years old.

The Chomsky Perspective...

Noam Chomsky is one of the most respected minds in the field of U.S. policy critiquing. He has fairly regular columns on ZNet, and this one gives you some perspective on current U.S. policy and its roots not only in WWII, but also back in the days of President Jackson and John Quincy Adams whose presentation of the policy to rid Florida of the Seminoles is eerily similar to how the foreign adventures are being presented today.

You are what you eat...

Here's an interesting article describing the difficulties of eating a healthy diet. Being and eating healthy really boils down to eating as many whole foods as possible, and cutting out as many pre-made products - including eating out - as possible. In other words, know what you eat, and don't trust others with the control of your health. Be well...

Matters of the State...

With the nomination of a new Supreme Court Justice by the Great George W. Bush up for debate by the Congress, along with so many other world events, I have the State on the mind. This justice will be on the court for life which will end up being 20 to 30 years - minimum. The legacy of the conservative Republicans will live far longer than this administration. Especially considering that Bush will probably appoint not only 1, but 2 justices before his term is up. But I wonder how much would actually be any different in other circumstances. The war in Iraq will go on. It did not start with Bush, and it won’t end there either. The violence of the State seems to be a natural part of the organism, just like violence is a natural part of the natural world. There is something troubling about violence perpetrated by humans onto other humans on a mass scale. I suppose I would be called a humanist for thinking that we should have limits to this type of violence. Could it be that the leaders of the world perpetrate this violence as a kind of sacrifice? A sacrifice to their gods, or God? Theirs is a mysterious world of religion and ritual shrouded in secrecy. There has always been talk of secret societies of the elite, and who knows, really, if they are true - even partially. For the world of the elites is so detached from that of the everyday citizen. The public face is but a small part of the world of the elite. We don’t even know how many there really are. We do know that in many countries of Latin America, an astonishingly low number of families own a ridiculous amount of the land, and thus have an enormously lopsided influence on the power scheme in those countries. Why would that be any different around the rest of the world - even in the great ‘democracy’ of the United States?

And so I am coming to the conclusion that no matter how much we theorize and argue about politics in the modern world, no matter what happens, the elite will have some version of their desires as the rule of the land. A depressing thought perhaps, but I think probably the reality we live in.

Power to the People!

The Great Collapse...

Jared Diamond and the ideas from his two books, "Guns, Germs, and Steel," and his most recent, "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed," are the talk of the town in the world of the social sciences. Alternet has an interview with Diamond that touches on his thoughts and ideas about the collapse of large societies of the past and the possible collapse of the current way of life on the planet. The interview concludes in an optimistic tone, but other readers seem less convinced that the world will find a way out of the mounting problems that must be dealt with at some point - hopefully sooner than later.

Those Crazy 80's!

I can't even believe this exists. For anyone who watched the A-Team through the '80's, this is a definite must see. Mr T. raps!

Oil, Oil, Oil...

My recent move to Florida found my partner and I driving down Interstate 95 all the way from the North East U.S.. Along the way we had to fill up every 350 miles or so, plus our little Saturn went through about 2 quarts of oil in its efforts to move its overloaded chassis. Needless to say oil was on my mind, and now that we have reached our destination I desperately want to lessen our dependence on the substance that is stirring up such controversy around the globe. I'm looking for an electric scooter for getting around town, and thinking about getting a diesel car to start running biodiesel. In the spirit of this anti-oil posting, check out this link that talks about boycotting Exxon/Mobile because of its actions in Alaska.
Oil is even causing an uproar in the remote forests of Ecuador, where Indians have traveled to the capital city of Quito to join others in protesting oil company expansion into some of the last protected forest in the country.
Add to these the wars in the Middle East which are so blatantly over control of oil reserves, it is very apparent that we must convince our leaders to look for alternatives to this gooey, grimy, oily black death.

Biodiesel For Sale!

In a big surprise in my book, a possible sign of things to come may be starting in Texas. According to the Independent, a gas station outside of Dallas has started selling biodiesel fuel endorsed by Willie Nelson. Wouldn't it be great to have the biodiesel option nation-wide? In time.

Early Americans

Archaeologists in Mexico claim they have found 40,000 year old foot prints that have been preserved in volcanic ash. Most scientists support the theory that the peopling of the Americas occurred by crossing a land bridge in Alaska about 10,000 years ago. If true, this find will make the field rethink the history of the Americas, and reconsider other sites that claim to be older than 10,000 years old. The question will remain, however, who were those first Americans, and where did they come from?